Hearing Loss Linked to Depression in Adults

Feeling depressed? A hearing aid could help.

Research has shown a link between hearing loss and increased rates of depression. Restoring normal hearing levels may be part of the solution for many people with unaided or poorly treated hearing loss.

A recent survey of more than 2,000 hearing-impaired adults over the age of 50 found that those with untreated hearing loss reported more depression, anxiety and paranoia than those who wore hearing aids. They were also less likely to participate in organized social activities.

Not only did the respondents with untreated hearing loss report feelings of sadness more frequently (30 percent, compared to 22 percent of hearing aid users), they also reported feeling as though people got angry with them “for no reason,” a common indicator of paranoia according to many psychologists.

Hearing loss can lead to frequent misunderstandings. If you can’t hear what people are saying, it’s easy to think they’re getting angry at you for no reason. It’s also easy to shut yourself off from family and friends because attempting to communicate with them can be frustrating and draining.